For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet… (Is. 62:1)
On Friday January 18, I was at the March for Life in Washington, DC, and every year when I look around I am awestruck by the sacrifices people make to get there. I heard of one man who walked 2,800 miles starting last April to be there this year. I met one group from Kansas City who drove for 24 hours straight. I’m always impressed by the families that come—families who are very courageous in not only traveling a long way with their children but who are brave enough to enter a massive crowd of people. There is a lot of sacrifice and courage here—two virtues which are opposite those vices promoted by the culture: selfishness and fear. Read More
Blessings on this great solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ! This Christmas I gave myself a challenge: I would use the proper readings that the Church prescribes for each Mass and preach on each one. It was a really powerful experience for me to really get the sense I was walking deeper and deeper into the mystery of this central component of our faith. From the development in the prayers at Mass as the solemnity moves from the vigil-mass at night-mass at dawn-mass during the day. I was also grateful that I could offer one of the Christmas Masses for the parish where I am an administrator. So I will only share one of those homilies with you today. I had a bit of a marathon–four Christmas Masses, so after the last Mass I was pretty worn out. On top of this I was on hospital duty yesterday, and thankfully no emergency calls happened. I was happy that at the last mass my dad and stepmom attended. Afterward I got a picture with my dad. There was lots and lots of incense! Now I’m looking forward to a little time of rest to really bask in the glow of the octave of Christmas! Read More
At the rehearsal dinner for a Marriage I witnessed, somebody told me her son wanted to be a priest because he figured priests took a break all week between Sunday Masses. The irony was that I was in the middle of a period where I was the only priest at the parish for 10 days and I was just getting ready for an already usually busy weekend, plus a wedding (the pastor and the deacon were on a trip to Rome). I laughed and told him he should follow me that weekend. That’s basically the public perception-priests sit around enjoying the finer things in life (maybe somewhere in an alternate universe). I remember when I was in college and my good friend (who, by the way, vested me as a priest) asked me about considering the priesthood. I went back to my dorm room and looked up “what does a priest do?” I had no idea, but now that I am a priest I do have an idea. Many people might not see the priest throughout the week, but on the flip side the priest might not see many of his people during the week (maybe they just sit around all week waiting to come to Sunday Mass?)…. Read More
WE WANT CHRIST TO REIGN!
That must be our anthem. We need Him to reign over us more than ever! In 1925 when Pope Pius XI instituted this feast (in Quas Primas), the world was in upheaval, just as it might seem today. This feast was a major finger in the eye of the up and coming Fascist governments that were setting themselves up as the ultimate powers in the world. Read More
I preached this homily on the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B.
There is a legend that Saint John Neumann and Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos were traveling through Latrobe. Due to the Anti-Catholicism of the time they could not find a place to stay. They found a tavern that would accept them—Francis Xavier Seelos slept on a bench, and Saint John Neumann paced all night reading his breviary and praying. Perhaps an example like this is what our Lord would use to once again explain that being a faithful follower of Christ does entail some difficulties, but it is in those difficulties that we are drawn into a closer union with God. Read More
The man in the Gospel (Mark 10:17-30) is after our American-pragmatic sense: he gets right to the point: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Our Lord then makes sure he is at least following the commandments, but then He gives him a deeper call: drop everything and follow me. In other words, I want more from you. Read More